"Tanned ... darker than our president" - perfectly OK?

In an MPSIMS thread, a poster started a thread to report that his son had come home from Iraq. In that thread, the poster commented

Do you think this is “a perfectly decent descriptor” (as another poster said after I posted :rolleyes:)?

Does it matter whether the person who made the original reference to Obama’s skin color has never hidden his strong dislike for seemingly every aspect of Obama’s campaign or his current administration?

Yes. No.

Oh, come on. The guy’s son is back from Iraq and incredibly tanned. And since Obama is rather light skinned for someone with African heritage, it’s possible for someone to tan darker than Obama’s skin color.

Personally, I thought you were the jerk in that thread.

Considering that my black friends regularly say, “God, Diosa! You’re blacker than we are and you’re a white girl!” whenever I get a tan, I don’t see a problem with it.

That person was clearly trying to just describe how tan his son is. Barack Obama is someone we all know. I could say, “My friend, zweisamkeit, is whiter than Snow Freakin’ White!” and we’d all get the point. The President is a real person, yes, but the office itself sort of inflates the person into something bigger than just a regular person, so he gets used in examples and exaggerations. Such is life, no offense there.

I don’t think it’s horrible, though I guess I hate to admit that I look at who the poster is when it comes to these things, too. I don’t know. A big part of it is tone of voice–which we obviously don’t have here. But I don’t know, someone who said it in a tone of disgust, as in being dark skinned=bad is one thing. But if it was just a matter of fact thing, that’s different.

I wouldn’t make any kinds of skin color references among people I didn’t know that well, because it could come off wrong. It could be interpreted offensive or as inoffensive, depending on the people.

I also would be pissed off if someone made a remark about my skin tone and I didn’t know them well or felt they were doing it to be an asshole. Like, my family making a reference to me getting tanned in the sun is one thing–someone else making some random remark is another. I’m not white so maybe that changes my perception. This example IS among family so I think I assumed it was less of a big deal.

Also, is Shodan’s son white and just super tanned or is he of a different race? Just curious.


He’s using the phrase as a succinct description of how tan his son is. Everyone knows the skin tone of Barack Obama because of who he is. The American President. Now we all know how tan Shodan’s son got while in Iraq.

I’m not…entirely…comfortable with the descriptor used. I certainly don’t think it was a ‘perfectly decent’ one.

But wasn’t Shodan the one who made it clear that he was going to do his damndest to get a rise out of all the Libs for the next four years, since he’s stuck with that deep dark president? Maybe this is part of that? I don’t know, I don’t think it’s worth getting worked up over. I mean, I really want to be happy with him that his son is ok but that descriptor was so jarring I just hit ‘back’ on the browser.

Taking a giant steaming shit in a MPSIMS thread celebrating an incredibly joyous ocassion - perfectly okay?




I had the same reaction torie did.

What do you think is inappropriate about it?

Without having read the other thread, it sounds like something an embarrassing grandpa would say in the place of ‘Darker than a colored person.’ I probably wouldn’t call them out on it, but it is cringe-worthy.

See nothing bothersome about it, on its face. It doesn’t read like a personal dig at Obama, or a suggestion that Obama’s skin color is a bad thing.

It does kind of give one the impression that Obama’s skin color is so dark that to be darker than him is to stray into Huxley’s Believe it or Not territory. But that’s not offensive, just unconvincing. Obama is no Sidney Poitier.

Exactly, so why use Obama? If hysterical hyperbole was the goal, why not use Sydney Poitier or…I don’t know, Alex Wek?

Look, it’s not that I think it’s particularly racist, it just seemed particularly pointed, which is what annoyed me a bit. I’m not ready to run out screaming into the streets over it, but it was enough to keep me out of the thread.

I was all, “Don’t you mean ‘Ripley’s’? ‘Huxley’ isn’t even close! What a weird mistake to - …oh.”

Ha! I do mean Ripley. Who the hell is Huxley? ::smack::

I had mixed motivations.

I have long considered that OP to be a jerk, and I generally avoid his posts/threads. But I looked into that out of curiosity, and probably would have left it without replying but for that comment.

When I was a kid on the NW side, Brazil nuts were nigger toes, we played nigger pile, and when doing eeny meeny we caught a nigger by the toe. And yes, people with deep tans (SPF?) were darker than a nigger. Haven’t used that word in decades, and am embarrassed at what was once unnoticed. It is a different world, and I often find myself unsure as to what is commonly accepted in terms of referring to peoples’ color, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, whatever. I’m not overly attuned to PC, but neither do I want to unnecessarily/unintentionally insult anyone.

So, like I said, I think (know) the poster is a jerk, and I know he has in the past been disrespectful of our president. So it kinda leapt out at me for him to so casually toss out a phrase that I thought brought political and/or racial views into a thread that was ostensibly about him being happy his kid was home.

I thank you for clearing up my confusion. I don’t plan on using that phrase, but at least now I know that most people do not take any pause upon hearing/seeing it. Good to know.

I guess this is putting too much thought into it, but is it okay to say:

-You are tanned darker than (name of a specific dark-skinned person)
-You are tanned darker than “a person of mixed race”
-You are tanned darker than “an African American”

Does the appropriateness depend on your audience or the situation?

Yeah, like I said, I’m putting too much into this. And I knew I shouldn’t have posted anything - and wouldn’t if the poster were someone else. Given my impression of this individual, I had a whole hell of a lot more I could have posted there than just rolleyes. I don’t know that you get to consistently assume a certain persona and advance certain beliefs, and then turn around and expect others to give a shit about you and yours - not to mention feeling all warm and fuzzy.

And I’ve probably just ensured that this heads over to the Pit. Like we (or that poster’s ego) need another pitting of him. :rolleyes: (aimed at myself!)

I really should get back to work.

House: Is the ant big and red or small and black?
Foreman: Medium and brown.
House: Halle Berry brown or Beyonce brown?
Cameron: Is there a difference?
House: Is there a difference? :eek:

I considered apologizing for my threadshit in that thread, but thought it would distract from the mood in that thread.
Whatever my thoughts, I should have kept them to myself.